ok, so, an odd question:

ok, so, an odd question:

ok, so, an odd question:

Am I correct in thinking that Masks as a supers system / setting isn’t really about heroes defined by singular items like adamantium/vibranium blended shields that defy physics? I ask because that’s a bit more central than the equipment of Beacons, yet I’d imagine a Directly Engaging a Threat move could just take their special item away from them on a single roll.

14 thoughts on “ok, so, an odd question:”

  1. It’s advised that the GM avoids taking away ability items (the sources of your powers) permanently. Taking them away briefly is fine-after all, the Beacon can always do the same move to get it back after all. After all, Iron Man gets his super suit recked all the time, but he’s back in a new one, or fixed the old one in time for the next fight.

  2. I’d argue that a character defined by their weapon isn’t really an interesting character or a character at all.

    That said, you can totally play with that trope in a bunch of ways. It can be a weapon that is part of your Legacy. It can be the adamantium skelleton that they grafted onto your Bull. It can be the mystical gem that attached itself to your forhead and Doomed you.

  3. You can reflavour a lot of stuff in Masks as you like. Playbook abilities lack details for just this reason. The Legacy’s “super strength, invincibility, eye beams, flight, super senses” ability suite is very Superman, but that also accurately describes an Iron Man suit.

    And if a singular item is the primary source of your abilities and your GM takes it away from you in a way that isn’t both temporary and narratively interesting (which, watching a hero occasionally problem-solve without their toys should be), your GM is a dick.

  4. Or a fellow PC is being kinda mean with directly engaging.

    Remember, losing your weapon doesn’t make you any less mechanically powerful. You can still make the same moves as before with the same strength labels.

  5. It’s also worth pointing out you have to directly engage a threat. For a fellow PC to be a legitimate threat, things would have to go pretty far. Possibly to the point where the team is going to break up and someone’s character is going to become an NPC.

  6. Chris Stone-Bush PCs fighting each other is pretty common, and I don’t think it’s that extreme. I mean, look at the example.

    However, it does signify an intent to hurt the other person, emotionally if not physically.

  7. “Directly engaging a threat is the move for straightforwardly duking it out with something—a monster, a villain, whatever. If you’re playing a bit of the rope-a-dope, hoping to tire an enemy out, you’re not directly engaging, so the move isn’t triggered.”

    If you’re not intending to cause physical harm you’re not Directly Engaging. I’m pretty sure emotionally harming another PC would be Provoke.

  8. Chris Stone-Bush Provoke isn’t harming someone. Provoke is getting someone to do what you want. You can’t make someone angry or guilty or insecure with the provoke move-well you can, but that’s if they don’t do what you say.

  9. Emotional harm is (usually) all on the defender: it’s hurtful words followed by rejecting someone’s influence or taking a powerful blow. But this is very off-topic. 😛

  10. Any playbook could be flavored as having their powers come from an object. Captain America himself is probably the Bull or the Beacon, although after being frozen and thawed you could make a case for the Outsider.

    Anyway, remember that if a villain does grab your special item, all you need to do to get it back is roll 7+ to directly engage them.

  11. Chris Stone-Bush There are all sorts of examples in superhero fiction where emotional rivalry escalates into physical conflict. I’m pretty sure the avengers punch each other at least once per movie, even when they’re not being mind controlled. There’s always the classic Cyclops vs. Wolverine rivalry. Superhero fiction is often about finding physical-conflict metaphors for intangible problems, which means characters may look to physical conflicts to resolve their problems.

    And that’s not even taking into account that “directly engage” works perfectly well as a move for sparring in the danger room or playing a game of super-powered basketball. A hit doesn’t deal a powerful blow in those cases–it’s more about the ability to impress, create opportunities, etc.

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